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Japanese video game developer of "King of Fighters," SNK Corporation, is reportedly almost entirely owned by Saudi Prince's foundation

Mohammed bin Salman is now the largest owner of the company which gave King of Fighters (Images via SNK, Getty)
Mohammed bin Salman is now the largest owner of the company which gave King of Fighters (Images via SNK, Getty)
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Arka "Biasedguy" Sarkar

SNK Corporation has been a traditional powerhouse in the world of gaming. The Japanese publisher is renowned among fans and has produced some iconic titles over the years. There were recent rumors involving the studio over a potential takeover, but there have been no official announcements. Through a subsidiary holding, it has now been found out that Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, is the largest stakeholder in the Japanese company.

SNK Corporation was established in 1978 and has already completed a long journey in gaming. The company has invested in video game making and producing new hardware, which has iconic franchises like King of Fighters, Metal Slug, and Fatal Fury. This will now be controlled by MiSK, led by Mohammed bin Salman as the deal has now been confirmed.


Mohammed bin Salman led MiSK is the principal owner of SNK Corporation

It has been a tightly kept secret so far over the ownership of SNK Corporation. Earlier in February, the Koran filings had hinted at a potential takeover by MiSK, which has now been officially announced.

It's quite interesting that the deal was formalized in the middle of February 2022. However, there have been no official announcements which could mean that the Japanese corporation wants to keep it under the radar.

【ニュース】SNKの株式、ほとんどサウジアラビア皇太子の企業が保有している。その比率96.18%automaton-media.com/articles/newsj… https://t.co/JE6ZuHMo9J

The underlying reason for the decision may have been the controversy surrounding Mohammed bin Salman. He was reportedly involved with the "capture or kill" of Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, which was unearthed by a US Intelligence report in 2021.

Nevertheless, the Saudi crown prince has become the largest holder in the Japanese giant, with 96% of the shares under him. This follows previous investments of the prince into gaming.

The nation's public investment funds have been used to acquire $3 billion worth of stock in Activision Blizzard, Take-Two, and Electronic Arts in 2020. This was followed by over $1 billion in investment to acquire 5% stakes in Nexon and Capcom.

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The SNK Corporation deal took place after a previous announcement in 2021:

"The Mohammed bin Salman Foundation's (MiSK Foundation) investment in the Japanese company SNK reinforces its continuous commitment to its goals of empowering Saudi men and women through building economic partnerships within the Foundation's updated strategy to maximize the positive impact on youth empowerment."

SNK has been part of the financial troubles in the past. It now remains to be seen what the Japanese gaming giants will do with the newfound wealth and which direction it will take under the new ownership.


Edited by Shaheen Banu
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